Off the Media
Smart marketers look for opportunities that other marketers have missed. They try to take advantage of taboos or assumptions that may have hamstrung their competitors. When done right, this impulse can create something powerful or unexpected and usually yield a massive ROI.
We’ve seen it a bunch of times. Someone will use social media in some new way (Old Spice). Someone will take advantage of late night television ads in some new way (Snuggie). Someone will take advantage of celebrities or quirky news stories. (Remember GoldenPalace.com?)
XXX in Tech
Prudish and old fashioned advertisers have traditionally eschewed advertising on porn websites out of fear of tarnishing their brands or turning away more staid clientele. But with the fact that porn accounts for 30 percent of all web traffic–and advertising on porn sites is much, much cheaper than running banner ads on places like Google–a handful of pioneering companies have taken to slipping into virgin territory by placing their ads alongside videos of people banging.
Facebook has no patience for boobies–not even the feathered kind. The social media site reportedly took immediate action after the Christmas Island Tourism Board posted an ad for its annual Bird’n'Nature Week that read: “Some gorgeous shots here of some juvenile boobies.”
Of course, ornithologists and casual weekend bird-watchers alike know that “boobies”—besides being, you know, boobies—are also a type of goofy-looking bird found on islands and along coastlines, including on Christmas Island, a small Australian territory in the Indian Ocean.
Off the Media
We have a certain image of what great marketers should look like. David Ogilvy with his pipe, Don Draper with his whiskey, Alex Bogusky on the cover of Fast Company.
Of course, each of these embodied their own era in their own way. But look at the last crop of billion-dollar brands, which in the last half-decade rose from nothing to ubiquity: Facebook, Zappos, Airbnb, Square, Uber, Evernote, Spotify, Twitter, Dropbox.
As if your Twitter feed wasn’t filled with enough junk already, companies will soon be able to bombard you with promoted tweets based on your geographical location. In other words, you’ll never be able to avoid Pinkberry again.
Off the Media
Advertising is a simple business.
A publisher creates inventory, whether it’s in a newspaper, over the airwaves, by the side of the road or online. They sell part of that inventory to companies who want to get their products and brand names in front of an audience.
Though it seems like a simple equation, there are a lot of ways it could go wrong, especially in the dizzying world of online ads.
Allen Stern, one of the Web’s original bloggers and founder of CenternetWorks, has died. Mr. Stern established himself early in the New York startup scene, shining a spotlight on tech companies when few others did. His sister posted the news on Mr. Stern’s Facebook account, but didn’t indiciate the cause of his death. [CNET]
Careful, your sponsored content is leaking: “Brands are everywhere, and brands have now leaked into what has been traditionally the editorial space.” [New York Times]
Why does Google pay Neal Mohan, its VP of display of advertising products, more than Carmelo Anthony? Because the visionary “predicted how brand advertising would fund the Internet.” [Business Insider]
In the United Kingdom, some lucky Facebook users are being charged up to £10 to send private messages to celebrities as part of a trial run. The scheme had a U.S. trial run in January when it cost $100 to message Mark Zuckerberg. [Guardian]
California already prohibits using your phone to text or call while driving. Recently, an appeals court ruled out using maps as well. Regulations against changing Spotify playlists are presumably next. [AllThingsD]
Off the Media
Last week, Coca-Cola put out a study declaring that online buzz has no impact on sales. And of course, that announcement drove everyone on the Internet to start buzzing about it.
AdAge, MediaBistro, Motley Fool, Business Insider and dozens of others all weighed in on Coke’s study, which “finds online buzz has no measurable impact on short-term sales”–driving thousands of tweets, likes and comments between them. (By “weighing in,” I mean they repeated the same few facts derived from the same presentation originally reported by AdAge in its “Buzzkill: Coca-Cola Finds No Sales Lift from Online Chatter” story.)
When it comes to advertising, it’s hard out there for a porn company–not that one of the Internet’s biggest porn websites really needs to advertise itself. As all those pearl-clutchy “Vine’s Porn Problem” posts will tell you, porn is everywhere on the Internet, and most of those NSFW videos can be viewed on PornHub, a popular adult video streaming site.
Now, BuzzFeed reports that PornHub has created a totally SFW Super Bowl ad, only to have it harshly rejected by the bigwigs at CBS. (We’ve reached out to CBS in order to independently verify that it rejected the ad.)
The “Dude, you’re getting a Dell!” guy gained a modicum of fame in the early aughts for popping up in random Dell commercials and surprising enterprising college students and old people with a Dell computer. (Really? This? I asked for an Apple Powerbook…)
Now, Ben Curtis has reemerged onto the tech scene, exciting dudes everywhere with a nostalgia boner for old computers. And Mr. Curtis claims he knows exactly how to solve Dell’s recent financial woes: hire him back, obvi.